Stornoway Harbour Masters

News that CnES, the local authority of the Western Isles, are considering taking-over the Stornoway Port Authority led me to look at 19thC Harbour Masters.

This timeline lists them from 1861-1901, interspersed with notes on material factors & developments that took place:

1861 – Peter Macfarlane, 52, b. Stornoway,wife and 2 daughters – 1 Kenneth Street

1863/4 – Legal wrangles over ownership & rights of the foreshore resulting from their earlier sale to Sir James Matheson by the Crown

1865 – Stornoway Pier and Harbour Commission legally constituted

1871 – William Lees, 48, b. Stornoway, wife and 1 daughter – Garrabost
(Retired Peter Macfarlane, wife and 1 daughter – 21 Inaclete Street)

1879 – Death of sir James Matheson

1881 – William Lees, 58 b. Greenock, wife and 2 daughters – 16 Keith Street

1891 – Thomas Morrison, 54, b. Stornoway, wife – 54 Francis Street

1892 – Commissioners increased from 7 to 10.
Construction of the Cromwell St, North Beach & South Beach solid Quays authorised

1896 – Death of Lady Matheson

1901 -Thomas Morrison, 65, b. Stornoway, wife & daughter – 49 ?

The rights and responsibilities of those who own and are in control of the foreshore and its attendant facilities are manifold and complex.

There are differences between the law in Scotland and that in England, but each involves tidal limits, the welfare of seaware and the health and safety of those using our beaches, harbours and the sea beyond.

It will be indeed be interesting to see how the proposed take-over proceeds…


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